William Eggleston "stupid question"

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Renato Tonelli, May 7, 2011.

  1. Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    842
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    New York,NY & Pontremoli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    While watching the BBC series "The Genius of Photography", I came across a scene of question and answer between William Eggleston and journalists. Visibly irritated, his response to a question (not heard in the documentary) was: "I regret that that's one of the stupidest questions I've ever been asked!"

    Does anyone know what the question was? It had to have been a 'doozey' of a question to get such a response.
     
  2. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,338
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Montréal (QC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah, I remember the passage. Eggleston is absolutely of the school of "if it's not made with words it can't be spoken of" (cf. the first incarnation of Wittgenstein for a kindred mind). In one of the documentaries about him (In the Real World, I think), you see him on the same stage as Stephen Shore. The latter is so articulate, fluent in art-history speak, post-Warhol discourse about the arts and all that, while Eggleston barely mumbles half-formed words about pressing the shutter.

    Still, in the final analysis I like Eggleston better because you can't default him for putting concept/intention above the pictures!
     
  3. ajmiller

    ajmiller Member

    Messages:
    539
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Location:
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There was no question shown in the film - they used a series of such responses from Eggleston to illustrate how his work is difficult for him, and others, to put into words.

    Tony
     
  4. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    3,067
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    South Norfolk
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I saw most of the series when it came out and should revisit it with my DVD copy. However, in some ways I think the 'masters of photography' BBC series from 1983, available to view on Youtube is the more substantial, with the interviewer asking gently probling questions and allowing the photographer time to respond. From my memory, I felt the more recent BBC series was particularly amiss in not covering Edward Weston and the related approaches in photography.

    Tom
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    842
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    New York,NY & Pontremoli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I wa also very surprised that Weston didn't get any worthy mention.
     
  6. AshleyMichelle

    AshleyMichelle Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2018
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Replying to see if OP ever figured out the answer! I'm just now watching that same documentary and am intrigued.
     
  7. slackercrurster

    slackercrurster Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    661
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Location:
    L.A. - NYC - Rustbelt
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    They prob asked him how he become so famous by taking such boring photos.
     
  8. CropDusterMan

    CropDusterMan Member

    Messages:
    665
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bill Eggleston has never suffered fools lightly.
     
  9. jtk

    jtk Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,859
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Edward Weston, man and photos, were probably too erotic for BBC.
     
  10. jnantz

    jnantz Advertiser Advertiser
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    25,668
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    paswonquitte
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    i think it had to do with his recipe for a mint julep
    he asked if he used kentucky bourbon or another type of spirit ...
     
  11. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    1,634
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    He was probably irritable because he hadn't had his daily bottle of hooch yet... And I am not kidding!

    My guess is the journalist asked him if he was a genius.

    Some say that if you look up the word Hubris in the dictionary there is a picture of Eggleston.
     
  12. slackercrurster

    slackercrurster Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    661
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Location:
    L.A. - NYC - Rustbelt
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Originally I was going to say "How did you get so famous by taking shitty photos." But my New Years res is to try and calm down a little.

    Look who promoted him...another lousy photog who was also a curator. He took some of the most boring photos imaginable. So of course he thinks Egg is great. I blame it on the curators, who are not world class photogs themselves.
     
  13. jnantz

    jnantz Advertiser Advertiser
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    25,668
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    paswonquitte
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    curators curate .. they edit and collect whatever their missions say ..
    gallerists collect and sell whatever their clients want to buy
    no one has to be a world class photographer to enjoy/curate/collect/sell &c photography
    or sell ... anything. its like saying
    a someone curating, collecting selling washer machines or cars or houses has to
    be a world class designer and building of washer machines cars and houses..

    not sure what boring photographs have to do with anything 99% of photographs are boring, maybe more than 99%
    unless they spark a connection with the viewer then they aren't ..
    of course YMMVFTSITW
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    10,482
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It's funny how time can distort what you think you heard but I thought there was a question asked that you could hear. My recollection was that it was a fairly inane and innocuous one that was typical of what journalists ask such people. I had thought that Mr Eggleston had initially made it clear in a relatively polite manner what he thought of the question but the journalist persisted without picking up Mr Eggleston's irritation and thus got "both barrels"

    I cannot now for the life of me recall what the question was and as I said, it might be my recollection that is wrong

    pentaxuser
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Renato Tonelli

    Renato Tonelli Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    842
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    New York,NY & Pontremoli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Still don't know the question that irritated him so. I am guessing that someone related his work to either social class or politics.
     
  17. jawarden

    jawarden Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    455
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I can't answer the question about the question, but Eggleston's mannerisms and speech patterns are unlike anyone else and I so enjoy listening to him. His photography deserves the praise it gets, too. In case you've missed it, Youtube has Eggleston: In the Real World, which is worth a look.
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    10,482
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You may be right or he may have interpreted the question as relating to his social class or politics but my hazy recollection is that it was more innocuous than that.

    pentaxuser
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    23,962
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Which year? :whistling:
     
  20. tezzasmall

    tezzasmall Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    493
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Location:
    Southend on Sea Essex UK
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    YMMVFTSITW???

    = Longest I've ever seen and google is no help!?

    Terry S
     
  21. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,338
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jonesboro, G
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    I personally feel that mint juleps MUST be made from bourbon. Bourbon, however, may be made in locales other than Kentucky. I now await the deluge....

    BTW, The Guardian has a good article on Eggleston. See this: https://www.theguardian.com/artandd...-interview-i-play-the-piano-musik-photography
     
  22. jnantz

    jnantz Advertiser Advertiser
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    25,668
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    paswonquitte
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    uh huh
    YMMVFTSITWAICNHYIFYCNFOWITAM
     
  23. tezzasmall

    tezzasmall Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    493
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Location:
    Southend on Sea Essex UK
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    Ok, thanks for that. Now I totally understand as the search engines found that one... BUTNOTREALLYATALL...

    Terry S
     
  24. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    2,121
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Location:
    MiltON.ONtario
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    It took seven years .... :smile: Looks like some already have their bottle of booze before New Year party.

    It is wrong to judge artist by his private life as it is " who IS stupid?" to call pictures boring if you are not capable to understand.

    I didn't knew about this photog until this year. I watched documentary about him and with him and it gave me great lesson in photography. He gives clear answer for those who comes with threads named "here is nothing to photograph where I'm".
     
  25. Arthurwg

    Arthurwg Subscriber
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    209
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Location:
    Taos NM
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    These days if you Google the word "idiot" you'll see a picture of Trump.
     
  26. jawarden

    jawarden Member
    Ads Enabled

    Messages:
    455
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Is this a thread about politics now? Why?
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.